Denis Casey

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Updated: 46 min 9 sec ago

As a small business owner in Ireland, have you struggled to get state support?

Tue, 07/24/2018 - 15:29

In my role as a business consultant I regularly come across small businesses who are looking for help. They turn to business consultants for help as they fall into a blind spot when it comes to support from state agencies.

A small business is defined as one that has between 10 and 49 employees and has either an annual turnover and/or an annual balance sheet total not exceeding €10 million. According to the Central Statistics Office there are approx. 16,000 (probably more now as this is a 2015 figure) businesses fitting this description in Ireland. They employ 307,626 people. This makes them a very important player in the Irish economy.

Micro businesses (less than 10 employees) are really well supported by the state through the network of Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs). Businesses who export or have the potential to export receive excellent support from Enterprise Ireland. Some small businesses, based in rural areas can qualify for support through the LEADER programme. But that still leaves a lot of small businesses without state support.

In fairness to the LEOs, they do provide some excellent non-financial supports to this category, but they are excluded from the type of financial support that is available to the micro business. While I totally agree with encouraging and assisting businesses to export – we are after all a small island nation and the export markets represent huge potential for Irish businesses.

I do not agree however that this should be a prerequisite for receiving state support. Perhaps the solution is to increase the employee threshold for LEO financial support – increase it to at least 20 employees. Or broaden the definition of exporting to take account of products that are exported as part of their customer’s finished products.

I encourage all small business owners to lobby their local TDs to raise awareness of this issue. Also, please help to raise awareness by liking and sharing this post.

By Denis Casey
Casey Business Consulting – results focused consulting

The post As a small business owner in Ireland, have you struggled to get state support? appeared first on Casey Business Consulting.

Excuses we use to avoid planning for Brexit.

Mon, 07/23/2018 - 11:37

Many Irish businesses are using excuses to avoid planning for Brexit. I refer to them as excuses rather than reasons, because when challenged the reasons do not hold water. Here I am going to consider excuse no 1. I will address the others in follow on posts.

Excuse no 1 – There are too many uncertainties regarding Brexit so it’s not possible to plan for it.

Yes there are a lot of uncertainties when it comes to Brexit, but actually for the vast majority of businesses, the main risks posed by Brexit can be identified relatively quickly. Once identified, the best and worse case scenario can be quantified. This allows you to identify contingency plans and to priorities these plans.

Conducting risk assessments and developing mitigating action plans is a long established business (and indeed non business – ask a mountaineer) practice. It is a tool ideally suited to addressing the challenges posed by Brexit.

If this idea is new to you, or you want to find out more about the process you can contact me though LinkedIn or by email at

Many state agencies are providing financial assistance to help Irish businesses with the planning process. You are likely to qualify for this. Contact me if you want to know more about the financial supports available. #Brexit

By Denis Casey

Casey Business Consulting – results focused consulting

The post Excuses we use to avoid planning for Brexit. appeared first on Casey Business Consulting.